For almost a year I prepared for the bike tour from Leipzig to Constance. I had never been to Leipzig before. After studying various guides, the expectation was great. Therefore we (my singer colleague Hans and I) arrived early in the morning to have the whole morning time for a detailed sightseeing.
After the trip by night train, Leipzig greets us at 6 o'clock in the morning with bright sunshine. The city is still quiet today on Sunday. Leaving the main station, a first sightseeing tour by bike takes us to the Nikolaikirche, the Gewandhaus at Leipzig's Augustusplatz, the new and the old city hall and the Bach monument in front of the Thomaskirche. We park our bikes. Two men, who obviously belong to the church, are mounting some announcements. We identify ourselves as pilgrims and are allowed to store our luggage in the sacristy of St. Thomas Church.
There is still plenty of time before mass, so we first visit the church. I stand in awe before the tomb of Johann Sebastian Bach. So that's where I am now. On the gallery is the organ on which Bach played. Not quite original, but at least in the right place. The church has also been regotized in the course of history. The baroque additions from Bach's time have been removed.
We take a little tour on the bike through the city. We drive carefree from one place to another and even through the passage where Auersbach's cellar is located - the one from Goethe's Faust.
The mass with the Thomanerchor is one of the first highlights of this trip, Bach cantatas at the place where Bach worked. I am thrilled by the St. Thomas Boys Choir. The boys' voices are bright and clear and without any tremolo. I listen devoutly. What a wonderful beginning for this pilgrimage!
It would be nice to have a first stamp in the pilgrim's passport from St. Thomas Church. That is not so easy. In the house next to the church, where the St. Thomas Boys' Choir is housed and where the St. Thomas School with Bach's apartment once stood, I receive the coveted stamp.
Monument of Johann Sebastian Bach in front of the Thomaschurch.
Pictures from our early morning tour by bike through Leipzig
Here on Augustusplatz in front of the Gewandhaus and I think of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, who worked here.
The Mende Fountain with its figures from Greek mythology is to be understood as an allegory of the importance of water for man..
Gewandhaus hall before the bombing in 1944
The new Gewandhaus hall from 1981
After Mass in St. Thomas Church, there will be coffee and cake in the square in front of the church. This is a good refreshment before we start.